An ad in the papers caught my eye recently. It occupied almost an entire page but all it featured was a picture of a flower with just 2 lines of text. I couldn’t quite tell what it was about but Lien Foundation was clearly indicated and there was an URL: http://www.lifebeforedeath.org.sg. I was intrigued but did not check out the website till I came across a similar ad again. “Life Before Death” is actually a campaign to raise awareness on end-of-life care (hospice and palliative) and to promote understanding of the needs of patients and their families, with the vision that quality end-of-life care should be made available to all who needs it.
I found the website very informative. Death is something we shun from thinking about because it screams of the fragility of life. And we feel that we can hide from it until old age, until illness comes courting or when confronted with death of a loved one. Maybe death needs to be always personified as Brad Pitt for us to find it more approachable (“Meet Joe Black”). Recently, I caught the Japanese film, Departures, winner of the Academy Award, Best Foreign Language Film. The movie tackled the subject matter of death in an interesting way and infuses it with humour. It shows how different people react to it, reminding us how we should treasure the present, live life to the fullest and most of all, it is a flim about love. On seeing the trailer earlier on, I smugly felt I already knew what the film is about. I was wrong and it way exceeded my expectations. Excellent mise-en-scene and the shots of inaka (country-side) Japan really made me miss the place.
The topic on death seems to be surrounding me recently. But I was reminded that the answer to the fear of death is what we marked last Friday and Sunday. Because of the first Good Friday years ago, death is but a transition zone.
“He hangs, by whom the world was made,
beneath the darkened sky;
the everlasting ransom paid
I see my Savior die.”
I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend.